About the Book

Title: Knightley & Son (Knightley & Son #1)
Published: 2014
Series: Knightley & Son

Cover Story: London-tastic
BFF Charm: Maybe
Swoonworthy Scale: 0…?
Talky Talk: Selectively Perceptive
Bonus Factors: Detectives, Subliminal Messages
Relationship Status: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Cover Story: London-tastic

Sometimes — often times — I pick up a book solely because of its cover, as long as its blurb sounds remotely interesting. This was one of those times.

The Deal:

Former hotshot private investigator Alan Knightley has just woken up from a four-year coma, to discover that his now thirteen-year-old son Darkus has inherited the detective gene. They’ll def. need to rely on their combined expertise when these two find themselves embroiled in a crazy conspiracy with dastardly villains and a mysterious book that compels its readers to do terrible things.

BFF Charm: Maybe

BFF charm with a :-| face

My knee-jerk instinct is to be Darkus’ BFF, because the poor kid’s been saddle with the name DARKUS. Seriously?! Darkus?! Why not just call him ‘Loner Knightley’, or ‘Desperate for a Friend Knightley’? Anticipating and avoiding easy, unflattering nicknames should be one of your first acts as a parent! 

Howevs, having a pity friend is almost as bad as having no friends at all. But Darkus is a major smartypants with maturity beyond his years, so I wouldn’t mind befriending him anyway. As for us being BFFs, I could take it or leave it, since his non-detective personality traits don’t really leap out at me. The boy kind of has a one-track mind (although that track could obvs be worse for a boy his age).

Swoonworthy Scale: 0…?

Darkus doesn’t have a love interest, nor does this book set one up for the future — I’m pretty sure. The only age-appropriate candidate would be his stepsister, and that kind of romance only works for Cher Horowitz.

Talky Talk: Selectively Perceptive

I had no idea how the mystery would unfold, and I was amused by some clever sleuthing from the Knightleys. Although I didn’t quite buy that Darkus, a teen detective in 2014, can deduce an entire chain of events from a car scratch and yet have trubs recognizing a set of numbers as an IP address. Or that anyone would actually say “Internet Protocol address” in convo.

Slight quibble aside, this book is solid middle grade mystery. As someone who went directly from The New Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries* to Agatha Christie novels, Knightley and Son would have been a welcome addition to my reading list back in the day.

*I never tried Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. Probably because they had ‘old’ covers. (I told you I’m easily swayed by book covers.)

Bonus Factor: Detectives

Keith Mars hugging his daughter, Veronica Mars

As the first family of Neptune has taught us, there’s no better crime-solving partner than dear ol’ dad.

Bonus Factor: Subliminal Messages

A book with the power to influence reality? Is there one that can give FYA HQ a mountain of money and a flock of shirtless Tim Rigginses? KTHX. 

Relationship Status: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I enjoyed my time with this book, but it didn’t leave a memorable enough of an impression for a second date. I’d totally wish it well if one of my friends wanted to date it, but it just wasn’t meant to be with me.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Bloomsbury. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). Knightley and Son is available now.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.